NEW PATTERNS IN OLD STYLE
Edition of 24, completed in 2013. $850
This edition of 24 books was the first book made in the new studio space at the Cosgrove Institute in Oxford, Iowa, 11 miles out of town in a 100 year old schoolhouse on a hill facing west. The project began as three smaller projects: an investigation of two opposing definitions of the word “cleave;” an exploration of the coded language and repeated words contained in tatting instructions and manuals; and a play with the negative spaces of flattened decayed leaves found on sidewalks in November. The book combines images and text printed from photopolymer plates with hand-brushed sumi ink painting.
The primary motivation for this book was to investigate the state of being two things at once, and the natural tensions present when opposing forces are required to inhabit the same spaces. All text is drawn from the definition of “cleave,” and words taken from tatting instructions. The text in the book was constructed from a series of random/chance exercises using these words. The first signature sets the scene of the word “cleave” fighting itself: a passionate joining with a violent separation. The second signature examines the results of the repeated joining and separating. The first signature is printed primarily in pale greys and greens; the second signature is equally monochromatic, but uses a pink/orange/yellow palette.
A formal constraint of this project was to use only papers I had in my collection, and to recycle or revisit previous half-begun prints and book ideas which had a link to the themes of duality and opposites. Two of the folios (the two outer folios of each signature) are prints begun during an Artist’s Residency and Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Their initial print layers are wood type printed in opaque white and transparent white inks, layered with hand-brushed sumi ink washes. The total number of these sheets determined the edition size of the project. The leaf prints are new to this project. A number of other elements are visitors from earlier works, including especially the otherworldly watertowers and adjacent scaffolding.
The papers used are Kitakata, Kozo Kaiga, University of Iowa Center for the Book handmade text sheets in a variety of fibers including hemp, flax and cotton, and overbeaten flax/cotton combination, an offcut left over from paper specially commissioned from Cave Paper for the previous book, SOLID PHASES.
The book is sewn into a modified limp paper binding, cover paper is UICB Papercase Natural. The book is housed in a clamshell box.